2017 Education Summit & Vendor Showcase Recap

An Education Summit delegate summed up the conference as follows: “The range of general sessions was great. The topics were extremely relevant to the current DMO climate but also focused on our professional growth.” During a series of workshops, marketers gathered new trends and best practices in measurements and ROI and explored specific projects focused on the power of collaboration, sponsored-content initiatives and working with influencers aboard. Sales professions dived into tips for cultivating relationships with local hospitality partners and learned best practices for client engagement in the digital age. CEOs and operations team members studied ways to create your signature (organizational) culture and reviewed approaches in strategic funding plans.

Shannon Gray, CEO, Gray Research Solutions, presented a spirited general session—“The Art and Science of Destination Authenticity: How to Create Connection and Trust with Travelers.” This session explored how to combine the science of perception research with the art of brand and message development to deliver on authenticity and enhance the visitor experiences.

AnnDee Johnson, vice president at Longwoods International USA, Inc., focused on how DMOs can demonstrate value to their stakeholders. She emphasized the foundational types of research that can provide the talking points destination marketers need to address issues with stakeholders and she provided tips on how to make one’s message resonate.

Closing conference speaker Renee Moorefield, CEO of Wisdom Works Group, Inc., shared four practices for bringing forth more of one’s potential to THRIVE at every stage of life during this interactive session.

The Best Idea Program presentations continue as a favorite component of the Summit. Achievement awards were presented to Glenwood Springs, Lubbock, Mesa and Park City. (See separate article with project overviews.)

The Roundtables by specialty area provided an open-discussion format for delegates who participated at one of the following Roundtables—Marketing Gurus, Operations Go-getters or Sales Standouts.

Two experiential sessions were offered pre-conference. The Downtown Project highlighted the revitalization of part of downtown Las Vegas through investment in small businesses; tech startups; real estate and development; and arts, culture, and education. The Facility Envy session, presented by Las Vegas CVA staff, featured an overview of the Las Vegas Convention Center and the four regional Visitor Information Centers.

Participants toured the Las Vegas Convention Center—including the Concierge Desk—and concluded the tour at the Las Vegas Visitor Information Center.

Thanks to our speakers, sponsors and exhibitors for their participation and support. See separate article for a list of the companies at the Vendor Showcase.

Watch for information at the DMA West website about the 2018 Education Summit & Vendor Showcase, scheduled for late September—destination to be announced.